August 2016

Pervert who secretly filmed young girls showering jailed

A 48 year old man who secretly filmed three young girls showering or using the toilet was jailed for 20 months at Gloucester crown court yesterday.

Stephen Ward, formerly of Coleford, but now of Waterside, Ross on Wye, used a covert camera hidden in a bag to spy on two of the pubescent girls a decade ago and was not caught at that time.

But earlier this year he filmed another girl in a similar way and this time his creepy crimes were detected – and the videos he had kept from 2006 were also found.

Ward admitted two offences of voyeurism and four of taking indecent photographs in 2006. He also admitted one offence of voyeurism and two of taking indecent images which he committed this year.

Judge Michael Cullum told him “You are 48 and of previous good character. You have worked hard all your life. But you have lived with a dark secret for a decade because, ten years ago, you started to film two girls with a covert camera.

“It was put into a bag and placed in three different locations in order for you to be able to film them showering and using the toilet.

“You took those images, you edited them, you put them on your computer in your file of adult pornography and you viewed them for your own sexual gratification.

“It was with some care that you set you set up that camera. You must have taken some time to do so.

“Had this case been only about those offences ten years ago it would have been possible to say you had now addressed your behaviour, closed the chapter and got rid of the camera.

“But you have done none of those things.

“I think you still present a risk of sexual offending because ten years later you committed another gross offence and videoed another pubesecent girl – and you did it repeatedly.”

As well as the 20 months jail term, the judge made a ten year sexual harm prevention order against Ward and also ordered him to sign the sex offender register for ten years.

His victims attended court and watched as he was sentenced and taken down to the cells.

Defence solicitor Steve Young had told the judge “He wants me to say how utterly ashamed he is of his conduct and how genuinely remorseful he is.

“He wants to say, through me, how sorry he is for what he has done and the effect it has had on the victims.

“When he was discovered and it became public he went through a very difficult time and he made a serious attempt to kill himself.”